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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Reunions, Meetings, Greetings and Soundings


Terry Fitz & Christine Lindsay
Throngs of Gannets
Nesting gannet

This has to be a very long blog because it has been an eventful month. Early in the month, we flew over to Auckland on the N Island for a reunion with Christine Lindsay and partner Terry Spitz … it was to have been a 6-year Reunion when we (along with stellar athlete Marigold Edwards) met up at Gulf Harbour Marina north of Auckland for a sail together over to Great Barrier Island. Unfortunately, ‘Goldie’ wisely (in view of a delayed NZ Summer) isn’t getting back to her home country until late February when we hope that Traversay III will be Chile-bound. We missed having Goldie with us, but her friend Dr Nelly Steinemann came for a visit and to see the NWP Show aboard Terry and Christine’s good ship ‘Shiraz’. Some wanderings we shared took us over to Muriwai on the west coast to see the Gannet Colonies, and also for a beautiful walk in Shakespear Park on a clear and sunny day.


Shakespear Park walk

Richard & Michelle on Theleme

More reunions: Returning to Nelson, friends Michelle and Richard from the French-flagged ‘SV Theleme’ reminded us of times we spent sharing anchorages in Chilean Patagonia. Before untying the lines, guests came over for crackers and cheese. I had met Lorna at the Gym I joined in Nelson 10 years ago so she and Peter were aboard once again along with new friends such as Helen (a fellow boat-owner at the Nelson Marina), Ruth and Tom (whose fabulous aluminium boat ‘Matariki’ is now for sale at the marina), Alister and Kim and Tom and Vicky (Sunstone).
Peter, Lorna, Helen, Tom & Vicky

Wai Choong
Having been introduced to Wai by our friend Jen (see previous blogs) we were delighted to have dinner at his home and to see the very old piano (a ‘Kuhlu’ piano circa 1900 from Berlin) which is most beautiful with a mellow, silvery tone and is set in a tomato-red room furnished with a most elegant oriental carpet. We have been driven around and helped in our provisioning and
Wai's piano
air travels by Wai and Jen, and given a loving send-off by Maurice and Katie Cloughley. We are going to try to return in five years time to share important birthdays, and also to pay a return visit to the Mt Arthur Tablelands.

Soundings: A few days ago we left Nelson for
Pelorus Sound with a fair weather outlook. After catching up with the classic ‘Irene’ who resembles a beautiful white cloud as she sweeps through the waters, we travelled through French Pass. We’ve been revisiting some of the scenery that we travelled through a decade ago with Traversay’s Waterline sister-ship ‘Red’.  The weather so far has not been very co-operative and since leaving Nelson, we’ve had to ‘take cover’ several times.
'Red' in  the Sounds

Dick & Pat's classic yacht - SV 'Irene'
'Chantelle'
Kelly & Leslie

We were lucky to meet up with ‘Chantelle’ in Bulmer Bay 2 days ago just before a huge storm. We’d spent the previous night there – anchored with 275 feet of anchor chain out. Kelly advised us to take up one of the mooring balls next to his yacht ‘Chantelle’ and we spent 24 very windy hours safely tied up. We don’t always know whether mooring balls have been recently tested or whether they’re sufficiently strong to hold a heavy steel boat such as ours, but Kelly has been boating in these parts, and fishing off the west coast for years and years and his is trustworthy knowledge!

We’re now en-route to Queen Charlotte Sound where we hope to find another ‘bolthole’ anchorage as more bad weather is in the forecast. Bad weather is far from our minds at the moment – sunshine and remarkably beautiful scenery as we travel through this blessed land drives thoughts of stormy winds away – at least for the moment. We know that we may again be able to live through poor weather by tying to the shore as well as anchoring, and also by exploring the beautiful underwater kingdom.
Sea star and anemones

Sponge

Our last dive here at Maori Bay yielded more of Larry’s terrific photos. We were especially pleased to see a few large sea stars. These have been disappearing in BC waters due to an unknown killer (possibly a virus of some type).

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